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What you want to say – 29 July 2020 July 29, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

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1. Michael Carley - July 29, 2020
alanmyler - July 29, 2020

“Seeking flattery from abroad is one of Ireland’s most crippling and shameful addictions, right up there with Garth Brooks or pairing coleslaw with lasagne.”

I didn’t realise that the latter is a solely Irish adaptation tbh. Presumably it’s ok to have garlic bread with it too though?

Liked by 1 person

6to5against - July 29, 2020

I was struck by that too. But then again, maybe coleslaw in general a peculiarly Irish obsession? Neither one shameful, though. in my opinion. As long as its a nice dry(ish) coleslaw and not swimming in mayo.

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2. CL - July 29, 2020

Mysteries…

“U.F.O.s don’t mean aliens. Unidentified means we don’t know what they are, only that they demonstrate capabilities that do not appear to be possible through currently available technology….
Current officials are now concerned about the potential threat represented by the very real, advanced technological objects: how close they can come to our fighter jets, sometimes causing a near miss, and the risk that our adversaries may acquire the technology demonstrated by the objects before we do….
our latest article provided a more daunting set of challenges, since we dealt with the possible existence of retrieved materials from U.F.O.s. Going from data on a distant object in the sky to the possession of a retrieved one on the ground makes a leap that many find hard to accept and that clearly demands extraordinary evidence.
Numerous associates of the Pentagon program, with high security clearances and decades of involvement with official U.F.O. investigations, told us they were convinced such crashes have occurred, based on their access to classified information. But the retrieved materials themselves, and any data about them, are completely off-limits to anyone without clearances and a need to know….
A.A.V.’s,” or advanced aerospace vehicles….does not refer to vehicles made in any country — not Russian or Chinese — but is used to mean technology in the realm of the truly unexplained.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/insider/UFO.reporting.html

‘Take us to your leader’,?-not a good time.

“President Trump revived his support for an antimalaria drug to treat Covid-19 and spread messages attacking the government’s top infectious disease official, in several overnight retweets of statements at odds with his government’s policy that also prompted another run-in with Twitter Inc.

Late Monday, the president retweeted a series of messages, including one asserting that Anthony Fauci had misled the public and another alleging, without any evidence, a conspiracy “by Fauci & the Democrats to perpetuate Covid…”
https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-revives-attacks-against-fauci-on-coronavirus-policy-11595948672

Liked by 1 person

3. Joe - July 29, 2020
4. eoghan - July 29, 2020

New reader here, hello everyone, very much enjoying the blog though found the site design a bit dated for my millennial sensibilities. So if anyone wants a cleaner (in my opinion) design you can download the “Stylus” web extension and copy and paste the CSS from here 👉 https://pastebin.com/xHxTt4PA 👈 into it

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Fergal - July 29, 2020

There you go WbS et al… Form beats content

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yourcousin - July 29, 2020

Yeah, if only there was someone associated with this site that knew anything about graphic design 🤔

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WorldbyStorm - July 29, 2020

🙂 I’m saying nothing.

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Joe - July 29, 2020

Whether the Chef goes with your suggestion or not, eoghan, stick with us. We need some younger people commenting on here.

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yourcousin - July 29, 2020

Joe,
That hurts. I’m under 40, isn’t that young?

🤣

Liked by 2 people

Tomboktu - July 29, 2020

In the end, all of us here are young fogies. (I’m an equal pain designator.)

Liked by 1 person

Joe - July 29, 2020

Joe,
That hurts.

Feckin snowflakes wha?

Liked by 1 person

yourcousin - July 30, 2020
Enzo - July 30, 2020

Well, I was a member of Worker’s Party Youth well into my mid-30s!

Liked by 1 person

5. Alibaba - July 29, 2020

There is much mention of fear of a second wave of coronavirus, If it happens there will also be a second wave of something separate but crucially related. I mean all the non-Covid illnesses with disruption to diagnostic services, missed treatments, rescheduled appointments, pain and psychological pressures and ultimately avoidable deaths for some people.

Many people who went into hospital for non-Covid treatment during lockdown ended up with the virus as well. Evidence also suggests excess deaths in people’s own homes. Even if there isn’t a second wave, or maybe a few spikes, there is still a backlog of unnecessary deaths developing due to the restricted routine healthcare and lower capacity. That’s seriously sickening.

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6. Tomboktu - July 29, 2020

So far, on RTÉ radio news programmes I’ve heard:

(1) a white Irish male (Frank McDonald) given a 4-mniute slot on Morning Ireland to criticise the removal of the Shelbourne statues, including getting to dismiss the concerns about the racism in public displays of slaves in chains; and

(2) a short reference by a reporter, after a discussion of the planning issues, to a different view on the potential harm, by an Irish expert on racism (Dr Ebun Joseph).

I’d like to see Joseph also given a 4-minute slot (with no opposing voice in it) in an equally prominent programme to share her expertise and give her assessment.

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Joe - July 29, 2020

I’m a friend of a local history/reminiscence group on FB. They put up a small piece inviting comments on the statues’ removal. By about 15 to 1, the majority of the comments are reactionary “put them back, stop copying America, don’t give in to the mob, part of what was Dublin in the rare oul times”. Fooks sake. A luta continua.

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CL - July 29, 2020

‘Frank McDonald….described the decision to remove the statues as the “importation of American cancel culture”….
Mr McDonald said the statues had nothing to do with modern slavery.’
https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2020/0729/1156195-shelbourne-hotel/

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crocodileshoes - July 29, 2020

Joseph was given a full day on the Drivetime show at about 6.20. Someone in RTE reading.

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crocodileshoes - July 29, 2020

A full say.

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sonofstan - July 29, 2020

Heard that. She was good.
Spend a fair bit of time driving today and listening to RTE. Got the distinct impression that Alan Kelly is leader of the opposition.

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crocodileshoes - July 30, 2020

Interesting letter from Kyle Leyden in Thursday’s IT – he says the statues aren’t slaves at all, are wearing ankle bracelets, not shackles, and the associations with slavery come from a mistake made by Elizabeth Bowen when she wrote the official history of the hotel about 70 years ago.

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Bartholomew - July 31, 2020

Ebun Joseph was on Prime Time last night discussing the issue with Michael McDowell. They both had some solid arguments.

However, I was gobsmacked when Joseph dismissed the Kyle Leyden letter by saying ‘he’s just a PhD student’. There are hierarchies and hierarchies, it seems.

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WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2020

Oh, there are hierarchies. TBH it does seem as there has been a bit of a overshooting the runway on this. Leyden’s analysis does seem robust. It seems a pity that there’s not a little bit more caution in terms of getting to the history of such things. Any image of any person in slavery is reprehensible and difficult to see that it should stay in situ but the key is the meaning of a given image/artifact.

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Liberius - July 31, 2020
Pasionario - August 2, 2020

Academic hierarchies are positively feudal.

And academics who imagine themselves to be intellectually radical are often downright reactionary in their interactions with junior staff and ploddingly “moderate” in their everyday political views.

They might be all for intersectionality and decolonizing the curriculum, but they’re much happier voting for Biden or the Lib Dems than Sanders or Corbyn. And graduate student unions are of no interest to them.

The work of the most politically radical academics — Chomsky springs to mind, as well as the late Marshall Berman — often tends to be more traditional (and comprehensible) in its intellectual approach and style.

I’m generalizing of course, and this doesn’t necessarily apply to the controversy about the Shelbourne statues.

But no-one should expect much in the way of genuine political radicalism as opposed to performative wokeness
from the upper reaches of the academy.

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WorldbyStorm - August 3, 2020

+1 could not agree more. There are as you say exceptions but the conservatism and part feudalism of some academic contexts is grim.

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crocodileshoes - July 31, 2020

Aside from Dr Joseph’s disrespecting ‘a Ph.D student’ she employed the old ‘when the facts change, I just double down on my views’ approach, which left barrister McDowell nonplussed. Good television, but not very enlightening debate. Neither of the participants had ever noticed the figures before being invited to comment. Apparently it was Niall O’Dowd who made the slavery claims. Silly season or what?

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Paul Dillon - July 31, 2020

‘Any image of any person in slavery is reprehensible and difficult to see that it should stay in situ but the key is the meaning of a given image/artifact’.

I don’t believe any image of any person in slavery is reprehensible, though I believe slavery is reprehensible.

Should Michelangelo’s sculptures of slaves be removed from the Accademia Gallery in Florence? Countless depictions of ancient Greek and Roman slaves are displayed in galleries.

The Bible is full of depictions of slavery, and indeed justifications of slavery: St. Paul instructs slaves to be obedient to their masters. Should the Bible be removed from the bookshelves?

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WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2020

I should have been more precise, in regard to saying that, I think in the context of statues on open public display there’s an argument that it is more problematic than a piece in a gallery. `A frieze on the exterior of a building again is in the public sphere, a gallery is somewhat different. It’s a bit like the Colson statue in Bristol. Framing it in a museum is distinctively different to having it in a public space. Moving towards the Bible or written depictions of slavery, not sure that enters into the discussion – I wouldn’t stand over expunging them.

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WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2020

Liberius, I don’t know, they don’t seem to be all that exoticised or sex object-like. They’re quite chaste to be honest if you look at the design as might have been expected given the time they were produced.

It suddenly struck me I must have walked past them near enough once or twice a week for the best part of two decades and I never once looked at them closely. I suspect I thought they were more recent additions for some reason.

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WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2020

BTW, just on hotels, that’s one I’ve never liked the atmosphere in. Whereas Buswells around the corner is both more inexpensive and down to earth while being comfortable. And amazing how many people on the left frequent Buswells. And of course it is unionised.

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Liberius - July 31, 2020

Liberius, I don’t know, they don’t seem to be all that exoticised or sex object-like. They’re quite chaste to be honest if you look at the design as might have been expected given the time they were produced.

Wouldn’t disagree on the actual physical appearance of the statues, though Leyden’s use of phases like “deliciously licentious opulence” make me wonder about what he thinks they are there for and whether that itself may be a problem (maybe not on a par with original though), though it could just be him being unnecessarily florid/Freudian.

On your thoughts about them looking recent, I’ve no idea why something so relatively recent and unimportant to the fabric of the city is such a cause for concern among the heritage types, ultimately who cares if two small statues are removed? I certainly don’t.

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sonofstan - July 31, 2020

” Countless depictions of ancient Greek and Roman slaves are displayed in galleries”

The descendents of those slaves are not still suffering the consequences of that condition. Whereas African-Americans remain disadvantaged as a direct result of the slave trade. The depiction of African figures as exoticised and even eroticised slaves is problematic because it directly tries to sanitise barbarism.

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WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2020

Liberius, that’s fair what you say. I do think Leyden’s words are over the top.

SonofStan, you’ve summed up what I was trying to say much much better. That’s exactly it. I cannot imagine what it is like to have slavery as a living part of one’s heritage. I suspect those who went through the Holocaust would have similar feelings. The Famine perhaps though that’s a bit more of an abstraction maybe?

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Paul Dillon - August 1, 2020

‘” Countless depictions of ancient Greek and Roman slaves are displayed in galleries”

The descendents of those slaves are not still suffering the consequences of that condition. Whereas African-Americans remain disadvantaged as a direct result of the slave trade.’

sonofstan, not sure if that was a response to my point as you quote from it but don’t address it. My point was a response to wbs’s (‘any image of any person in slavery is reprehensible…’), which he then qualified and expanded on.

I could just as easily have said ‘depictions of Greek and Roman and African slaves’ are displayed in museums and galleries, as the point still stands – their display does not mean that the institution, individual or society displaying them approves of their content or the world view of the artist. Works of art can be displayed because we see some historic or aesthetic value in them, whatever our moral objections to their content or values.

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sonofstan - August 1, 2020

I could easily have said ‘depictions of Greek and Roman and African slaves’ are displayed in museums and galleries, as the point still stands – their display does not mean that the institution, individual or society displaying them approves of their content or the world view of the artist.

My point also still stands: the depiction of African slavery is still a enough of an issue in terms of the lived experience of the descendants of those slaves to warrant an extra layer of care in thinking about the possible implications of displaying images thereof.

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sonofstan - August 3, 2020

“And academics who imagine themselves to be intellectually radical are often downright reactionary in their interactions with junior staff and ploddingly “moderate” in their everyday political views”

Not always.
I know you’re generalising, but the recent experience of stirke action was heartening enough, at least where I was, in terms of solidarity from ‘above’.

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WorldbyStorm - August 3, 2020

That’s a very fair point, yourself and Michael C have both outlined that level of activism which is very positive.

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7. roddy - July 29, 2020

Any word on my oul friends the Sticks? Saw a letter in the paper today from Lily Kerr “Workers party North Belfast”.Thought this sort of thing was banned at the minute.

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WorldbyStorm - July 29, 2020

I haven’t heard anymore and talking to someone in Belfast recently, non-WP adjacent, they thought it had flared up and sort of gone quiet again.

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alanmyler - July 29, 2020

It seems to have gone quiet at the moment. The WP(CEC) appears to be acting as though the WP(NIBC) people have left the party, while the latter appear to be acting as though they’re still members. I’d imagine there’s probably more than that happening behind the scenes but if so it’s not visible to the average party member such as myself at this stage.

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Joe - July 30, 2020

I’ve done a bit of research (sad isn’t it) on BookFace. There are various pages run by branches in Belfast (north, south, west and other nomenclature). I think you can tell which page belongs to which side by the use of logos. Using alanmyler’s designated initials, it appears that BookFace pages run by people on the WP(CEC) side use the Starry Plough and the Handshake logos. BookFace pages run by the WP(NIBC) side just use the Handshake logo.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

Ah, interesting, so some of Belfast has stayed CEC? And what about other parts of the North or the South? Any branches in the South gone NIBC?

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Joe - July 30, 2020

Yes it is interesting. There certainly seems to be a decent tranche in Belfast who are with the CEC side – this from my forensic BookFace research. I’m guessing, just guessing, that there’s an age element – younger heads more likely to have sided with CEC, perhaps in frustration at the control imposed on them by the older heads up there who make up the NIBC side. Guesswork, as I say.

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alanmyler - July 30, 2020

Yes it seems like Belfast now has a number of newly constituted branches with some geographical overlap with previously existing branches which are no longer recognized by the WP(CEC). I haven’t heard anything one way or the other about southern branches going with the WP(NIBC) but using Joe’s method of analysis on BookFace there seems to be some sympathy with their predicament amongst at least a handful of long standing senior party members in the south.

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tafkaGW - August 3, 2020

Not just sad – stupid.

I find it very hard to take any group that organises on Zuckerberg’s surveillance apparatus seriously.

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8. Alibaba - July 29, 2020

‘Trump’s idea of wooing the women’s vote, which is decisive in this election, was to tweet out a New York Post story headlined “Joe Biden’s disastrous plans for America’s suburbs” with the directive: “The Suburban Housewives of America must read this article.”

Clearly, the 74-year-old president thinks that American women are in the kitchen; clutching their pearls, a la June Cleaver; sheltered in the ’burbs in their gingham aprons; waiting for their big, brave breadwinners to come home after a hard day’s work manhandling their secretaries.’

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-handles-the-jurassic-jerks-1.4313963

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6to5against - July 30, 2020

the (always interesting) npr politics podcast made a similar point about some of his campaign ads: he’s looking to hoover up the 1950s stereotype vote.

https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510310/npr-politics-podcast#:~:text=The%20NPR%20Politics%20Podcast%20%3A%20NPR.%20The%20NPR,They%20tell%20you%20why%20it%20matters.%20Every%20afternoon.

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9. GearóidGaillimh - July 30, 2020

A few years ago, I noticed somewhat amusedly that William F. Buckley and Noël Browne both went to the same Jesuit school, namely Beaumont College, Berkshire. It never occurred of me to investigate whether Buckley had interviewed Browne. Courtesy of Maurice Casey I now discover he did, with cameo appearances from Vincent Browne, Nell McCafferty and Kevin Myers, and I hope the video surfaces. https://digitalcollections.hoover.org/images/Collections/80040/80040_s0131_trans.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2cgjMfe9czjYdDps26SQ4AgyYoCK2fErzG6ptkxFvW0B3w9lvX5ALGQ04

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

Wow, Buckley was obtuse in that. A useful reminder of certain attitudes that still prevail. Amazing find by you.

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Pasionario - August 3, 2020

Still, this was a lengthy, grown-up, civilized discussion about issues of substance between two political opponents on US television. Hard to imagine that happening now.

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Pasionario - August 3, 2020

And the equivalent today would be something like Tucker Carlson coming to Dublin to interview Richard Boyd Barrett. Also unthinkable.

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Fergal - August 3, 2020

I think you’re onto something there P… the paucity of ‘debate’ on US telly … and this debasement of debate and discussions reduced to sloganeering I think is in part responsible for the advent of Trump…
For all his flaws Buckley interviewed a large spectrum of political opinions and never reduced language to nothingness

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WorldbyStorm - August 3, 2020

+1 to you both. Perhaps in all this we see the impact of marketing approaches too.

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roddy - July 30, 2020

So that’s where Browne got his condescending manner and accent.

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Jim Monaghan - July 30, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFUKV5_EwdA William F Buckley interviews Bernadette Devlin.

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Jim Monaghan - July 30, 2020

Buckley had been influenced by a former Trotskyist James Burnham. In this, he interviews a prominent antiwar activist and member of the Socialist Workers Party, USA.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpV5xr3tQoE

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10. Pangurbán - July 30, 2020

While Martin kenny is an honourable TD, we can see Sinn Féin playing to their base here on the insurance fraud issue
Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny said that many would “wonder if the level of fraudulent activity is as high as insurance companies claim”. He noted that at one Oireachtas committee the insurance industry claimed 20 per cent of cases were fraudulent but there was “a certain amount of exaggeration” because very few cases had been referred to An Garda Síochána.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

Haven’t others raised that issue too, though? IIRC the SDs did? I’m sure there’s some insurance fraud but… I do think companies tend to exaggerate it.

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11. CL - July 30, 2020

The U.S economy contracted at a record 32.9% annual rate last quarter and weekly jobless claims rose to 1.43 million amid signs of a slowing recovery.
Germany’s Economy Suffers Biggest Contraction on Record.

“Food insecurity for U.S. households last week reached its highest reported level since the Census Bureau started tracking the data in May, with almost 30 million Americans reporting that they’d not had enough to eat at some point in the seven days through July 21.”
https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/markets/almost-30-million-in-us-didn-e2-80-99t-have-enough-to-eat-last-week/ar-BB17ldBN

“Over the past 3 months, 44 million US workers filed for unemployment while billionaires got $637 billion richer”
https://www.businessinsider.com/billionaires-gain-636-billion-while-millions-unemployed-ips-2020-6

“Senate Republicans on Monday rolled out the major pieces of a $1-trillion economic relief plan that would provide a second round of $1,200 coronavirus stimulus payments to many American adults and slash enhanced federal unemployment payments from $600 a week to $200.”
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-07-27/gop-coronavirus-plan-includes-another-1-200-check-cuts-unemployment-benefit-to-200

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kestrel - August 3, 2020

that decreasing of the federal unemployment payments from $600 per week to $200 per week, may happen; but maybe for mainly political reasons? people then need jobs; and will pressure Trump more for the Europe pharmaceutical jobs to be brought back to the U.S.?; that he has already promised.
But it does seem odd though; maybe Trump is evaluating the balance of populace feeling as to [how many] jobs he will bring back / or to the leaving of some pharmaceutical firms in Europe, now that Europe seems to want to impose some tax on U.S. goods? or firms?

Liked by 1 person

12. sonofstan - July 30, 2020

Neasa Hourigan has resigned the Green Party whip in the Dail after voting against the government twice. She remains a member of the party.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

Just saw that. Was wondering given she had signed the letter with the other dissident GP folk whether that might pave the way to something.

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13. tomasoflatharta - July 30, 2020

Neasa Hourigan TD, Green Party Dublin Central, votes against FFFGGG Housing Bill – “Eviction due to sale is directly in conflict with Green Party policy and so I am unable to support this bill”
Hopefully a case of 1 Green deputy down, 11 to go.

There were 12 green bottles🍾 sitting 🪑 on the wall,
and if 1 green bottle 🍾should accidentally fall,
There were 11 green bottles 🍾….

“The Dublin Central TD voted against the Bill as a whole after 6pm, which could lead to her being stripped of the whip by her party.
Another Green Party TD abstained in the final vote.
There was criticism this week that the Bill was not discussed at the Cabinet sub-committee on housing, which only met today for the first time.” https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/07/30/congranulation-to-neasa-hourigan-td-green-party-dublin-central-she-votes-against-fffggg-coalition-residential-tenancies-bill/

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EWI - August 3, 2020

There was criticism this week that the Bill was not discussed at the Cabinet sub-committee on housing, which only met today for the first time.

It was predicted that the other two would just elbow the Greens aside…

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14. tomasoflatharta - July 30, 2020

Some convergence is occurring on the radical left in England and Wales

“We seek revolutionary transformation to meet the compound crisis of ecological disaster, economic collapse, social decay, grotesque inequality, mass impoverishment, growing militarisation, and creeping authoritarianism.

• We are internationalists, ecosocialists, and anti-capitalist revolutionaries. We oppose imperialism, nationalism, militarism, racism, misogyny, and homophobia. We stand in solidarity with all the oppressed at home and abroad, and we support all struggles from below against the system.

• This means: 1) we oppose Brexit as a British form of nationalism and racism; 2) we support the right of oppressed peoples to challenge colonialism and forms of apartheid and to struggle for self-determination; 3) we support a united Ireland and Scotland’s right to independence.” https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/07/30/anti-capitalist-resistance-planned-launch-🚀-of-new-anti-capitalist-organisation-in-england-🏴%F3%A0%81%A7%F3%A0%81%A2%F3%A0%81%A5%F3%A0%81%AE%F3%A0%81%A7/

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15. sonofstan - July 31, 2020

Glaring logical inconsistency in the idea that, as Willie Walsh has just contended, it’s safe to travel to a country with a lower infection rate: safe for you maybe, but surely not safe for that country, since, to country X, we’re the country with a higher infection rate.

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16. CL - July 31, 2020

“One of the most important primitive impulses is the predatory instinct, which leads idle minorities to appropriate economic surpluses for themselves”
https://www.veblen-institute.org/Have-read-Veblen.html

” nowhere have we really overcome what Thorstein Veblen called “the predatory phase” of human development.”- Einstein
https://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism/

“The scale of the bailout that the political authorities cooked up for big business was mind-boggling, but their lack of concern about monitoring its disbursal was more remarkable still. ….
it was a bipartisan effort, relying as always on the advice of the same leading members of the politico-financial elite who had shaped the succession of bailouts implemented during the administrations of Clinton, Bush and Obama. …
Only a single Democrat, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—whose district in the Bronx and Queens, New York, was the national epicentre of the pandemic, with the largest number of covid-19 infections in the country—publicly objected to the bill, calling it one of the ‘largest corporate bailouts in American history’, which provided only ‘crumbs for our families’…..
The upshot has been that the Fed, merely by virtue of its promises, was responsible for putting $7.1 trillion of wealth in the hands of equity investors, at a time when the real economy would otherwise have brought about the opposite result. In roughly the same period, between 18 March 2020 and 4 June 2020, the wealth of us billionaires increased by $565 billion, reaching the level of $3.5 trillion in total, up 19 per cent in the interval….

The politically driven upward redistribution of wealth to sustain central elements of a partially transformed dominant capitalist class, as the response to a seemingly inexorable process of economic deterioration, has been at the heart of the politico-economic evolution which has brought us to this point. What we have had for a long epoch is worsening economic decline met by intensifying political predation.”
https://newleftreview.org/issues/II123/articles/robert-brenner-escalating-plunder

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17. tomasoflatharta - July 31, 2020

Readers are urged to examine the stark facts below.

The British State was caught running the loyalist sectarian murder of Miami Showband musicians returning in the wee small hours from a music gig at Castle Ballroom, Banbridge, County Down on July 31 1975, 45 years ago.

A survivor, Stephen Travers, tells the story to Yvonne Watterson . https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/miami-showband-massacre-i-heard-my-platform-shoes-click-against-each-other-i-still-had-both-legs-1.4318542

“My friend Stephen Travers knows all too well about remembering. He was a member of the Miami Showband who survived that atrocity.

They were travelling home from a gig at the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge, Co Down, when they were flagged down at what appeared to be a routine British army checkpoint outside Newry. They were ordered to stand by the road with their hands on their heads, while the men in uniform checked their van.

Stephen recalls being concerned about what was taking so long. “My guitar was in there. I had a very unusual guitar, a transparent Dan Armstrong Plexiglas bass, and I was very protective of it. I was damned if I was going to let some awkward soldier manhandle it. I loved my guitar.”

Two of the uniformed men – later revealed as members of the Ulster Defence Regiment – were planting a bomb under the driver’s seat when it exploded, killing both of them. The other assailants opened fire, killing the band’s frontman, Fran O’Toole, its trumpet player, Brian McCoy, and its lead guitarist, Tony Geraghty. “https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/07/31/the-miami-showband-massacre-45th-anniversary-july-31-2020-files-delay-appalling-says-judge-bbc-news/

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18. tomasoflatharta - July 31, 2020
19. Tomboktu - July 31, 2020

Does anybody know if Ferriter got any stick from reviewers for his 2009 book Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland for his including paedophilia in his discussions of the prosecution of gay men?

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Joe - July 31, 2020

I probably wasn’t paying attention at the time but I can’t recall that he did. Also it’s never too late!

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Fergal - July 31, 2020

I’ve always wondered if a day of reckoning will ever come for the hundreds of thousands of Irish knees that were on top of the natives in India, Egypt and other parts of Africa as part of Britain’s empire?
The frenzy to commemorate Irish involvement in World War One… while perfectly understandable on a human level conveniently forgets that this conflict was basically to decide who would rule Africa and Asia… the Anglo-French thugs or the German ones…
And that poor Irishmen continued to join the British army in large numbers in the years after WW1 as the Empire tried to crush insurrectionary movements here, in Iraq, Egypt and Afghanistan …
But let’s talk about statues outside a posh hotel instead…

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CL - July 31, 2020

The ‘day of reckoning’ did come for Michael O’Dwyer.

“On the afternoon of 13 March 1940 a gunman entered a public meeting at Caxton Hall, Westminster, and assassinated Sir Michael O’Dwyer, a former lieutenant governor of Punjab.”
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jun/05/patient-assassin-anita-anand-review

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tomasoflatharta - July 31, 2020

An Irish Traitor called Sir Michael O’Dwyer, the Amritsar Massacre in the Punjab, India, and a hero Udham Singh.
Decent people in Ireland should erect a monument in a prominent place honouring Udham Singh.

Sir Michael O’Dwyer was 75, a grandee of British imperialism. Few there noticed the one Indian man in attendance who arrived in late and sidled his way up to the front. Proceedings had just ended when the man walked straight up to O’Dwyer and shot him twice through the heart

O’Dwyer’s killer, Udham Singh, is a hero in India. The date of his death is a national holiday in the Punjab. Last year a statue was unveiled in the Jallianwala Bagh, the walled garden which is the site of the Amritsar massacre. It depicts Singh with his fist clutching a sod of blood-soaked earth. According to legend, Singh witnessed the Amritsar massacre and vowed from that day forward he would track down the men responsible for the foul deed. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/03/12/acts-of-defiance-against-the-british-empire-rebels-struck-for-freedom-in-ireland-and-india-100-years-ago-connaught-rangers-mutiny-and-udham-singh-the-patient-assassin/

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20. EWI - July 31, 2020

Hoey, the Spiked! lot’s Claire Fox and Nigel Dodds all to get UK peerages.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2020

The revolution has been cancelled!

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Michael Carley - July 31, 2020

The long march has arrived at the institution.

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Colm B - July 31, 2020

Another blow against the remoaner, leftie liberal elite as the doughty no-nonsense people’s champions join, the ranks of the…er…well…elite.
I look forward to the day rotten House of Furedi comes tumbling down. I just don’t have words for that vile genocide-justifying bunch of corporates shils. They are just about the most toxic w….rs ever spewed out from the ranks of the British left.
Phew, feel better now I got that off my chest.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2020

+1 They’re almost the worst. I’ve a theory that class position sees people return to their original class position whatever about the rhetoric in between. That’s not entirely fair, but it’s not entirely wrong either. In the case of the RCP I think it’s about right.

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tafkaGW - August 3, 2020

But look – isn’t it by this time fairly clearly that they’re a front organisation run by the Koch’s etc. Where they ever part of the left of simply a front that did a bit of time to establish themselves and then served their paymasters?

What do you expect – they are enthusiastic capitalist death-cultists, whether that death by climate collapse or Covid.

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WorldbyStorm - August 3, 2020

I think the RCP period up to the mid 1990s they were of the left. Not a great adornment to it.

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21. roddy - July 31, 2020

Only good thing about Doddsy’s elevation is that he has conceded the North Belfast Westminster seat is gone and SF’s John Finucane is there to stay.

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22. sonofstan - July 31, 2020

whatever the ultimate story, one thing I can now say, having been here for a month, is that the Irish government(s) have handled communication re Covid much better than in the UK. The ads on the radio are clear, calm and effective, the posters I’m seeing everywhere are likewise. There is little such signage in England, at least where I am.
Instead you get the prime minister reciting a deranged version of the Hoky-Cokey, like he doesn’t think English people can understand anything more than the average 5-year old – the Irish stuff expects you to understand cause and effect and to appreciate explanation.

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23. tomasoflatharta - July 31, 2020

Irish and ex-Trotskyist Connections –

Boris Johnson appoints Kate Hoey and Claire Fox to the British House of Lords

“Kate Hoey (who claims to have been in the International Marxist Group) and Claire Fox (who definitely was a leading figure in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) are now Peers in the House of Lords.

We – the Trainspotters’ CC – have had learned discussion on Hoey’s association with the IMG . The most reliable sources suggest she was a “contact”.

This is the claim,

Living in London in the early 1970s she became a vice-president of the NUS.[Jack Straw was NUS president at the time]. Returning from an overseas conference, she found herself sitting next to Tariq Ali on the plane. Tariq persuaded her to join the IMG, which she did in summer 1971.

In subsequent years she used to muddy this connection by claiming that she was in the Spartacus League, a short lived youth wing of the IMG. She was never at ease with the Irish Republican Trotskyism of the IMG and was also very inimical to Gery Lawless an IMG member at the time.

She felt that having Lawless as a member discredited the IMG. Under the influence of Brian Trench [political influence of course!] she joined the IS in 1972 but her stay there was also limited.

She joined Hackney Labour party and supported the Troops Out Movement for a period before becoming a supporter of the BICO front organisation, Campaign for Labour Representation in Northern Ireland.

Nowadays the IPR group are quiet hostile to her,dubbing her TallyHoey in a recent article!” https://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2020/07/31/kate-hoey-and-claire-fox-in-the-house-of-lords-two-old-marxist-comrades-take-the-ermine/

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24. CL - August 1, 2020

“People who do not self-isolate after developing Covid-19 symptoms are putting other people at risk of infection, Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn has warned….A survey of GPs has indicated that the vast majority of patients who had contacted them with Covid-like symptoms in the past week had not been self-isolating since the onset of their symptoms…..
At present, there are seven people in hospital with confirmed cases of Covid-19…. A total of 92 people are in hospital with suspected cases of Covid-19…..
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said the sharp increase in cases yesterday was “cause for concern” but reiterated that it is not the time for a knee-jerk reaction.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said cases are being watched closely and is hopeful that what is being seen is evidence that the contact tracing system is working “really well”.
https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0731/1156717-covid-ireland-latest/

(The purpose of testing and tracing is to find and then isolate the infected. Testing and tracing, no matter how efficient, without subsequent isolation of the infected will not quell transmission)

“The calamitous consequence of this failure to establish comprehensive testing and tracing in England cannot be overstressed. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland a more localised approach has had a better outcome in terms of deaths and infections. In England, however, the government has managed to get the worst of all possible worlds by combining over-centralisation with fragmented decision-making at the top. Unsurprising, it is Ceredigion, a rural county council in the west of Wales, that set up its own tracing system in March, that has had one of the lowest infection and fatality rates in the UK…..
Baroness Harding’s ‘failure to pursue the virus with enough success and aggression to prevent its recurrence has earth-shaking consequences for British society and the economy. The problem is that “the new normal” is too abnormal to be sustainable, except in the very short term, without devastating damage to all aspects of life in Britain….
The upsurges in infections in the north of England, Catalonia and elsewhere show that attempting to live with the virus is not working as a strategy. This leaves the elimination of the virus by denying it hosts, the strategy pursued in east Asia through aggressive testing and tracing on a street-by-street basis, as the only feasible long-term strategy….
The allegation that Boris Johnson is a bombastic blowhard and careerist who is out of his depth in a real crisis has been confirmed all too frequently by events. There is no need to demonise him and his ministers as actively malign, like Donald Trump and his lieutenants, but their inability to get a grip on the pandemic has had a similarly disastrous outcome in both cases.”-Patrick Cockburn.
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/boris-johnson-coronavirus-track-trace-system-second-wave-a9648391.html

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WorldbyStorm - August 1, 2020

Cockburn spot on

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25. tomasoflatharta - August 1, 2020

Bunreacht na hÉireann states: “The Government shall consist of not less than 7 and not more than 15 members.”

The FFFGGG coalition has a deserved reputation for letting ministerial piggies 🐷 loose to slurp at a trough stuffed with Euros 💶. Greed causes the party leaders to ignore clear and simple rules about how many ministers can be appointed – the constitution states the maximum number is 15 – and no other politicians can attend cabinet meetings. Three “super junior” mini-ministers – already in hot water for getting a pay 💰 hike – are attending cabinet meetings – according to the attached article this practice is probably unconstitutional and illegal. This might look like an obscure technical point – but it might be a gift 🎁 to radical left deputies denied 🙅 decent speaking rights in the current Dáil. Revenge is a dish best served cold. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/08/01/too-many-fffggg-piggies-🐷-🐷-🐷-slurping-euros-💶-from-the-trough-18-ministers-at-cabinet-is-fairly-obviously-unconstitutional-and-politically-dubious/

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John Goodwillie - August 4, 2020

If the attendance of non-members of the Government at Government meetings is unconstitutional, the Secretary-General cannot attend either.

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26. Tomboktu - August 1, 2020

Liked by 3 people

tafkaGW - August 4, 2020

A truly great woman. We should celebrate women organisers more.

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27. sonofstan - August 2, 2020

B&A poll in the Sunday Times:
SF 30
FG 29
FF 20

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WorldbyStorm - August 2, 2020

Interesting, you wouldn’t have further details, I’ve been scouring the web looking for same but no luck so far.

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roddy - August 2, 2020

SF30(+5) FG29(+8) FF20(-2) GRN6(-1) LAB3(-1) SD1(-2) PBP1(-1) IND9(-1). Could be an outier.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - August 2, 2020

FF on 9% in Dublin is the only other titbit

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roddy - August 2, 2020

SF and FG both on 30 in Dublin.

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WorldbyStorm - August 2, 2020

Well that’s an interesting poll.

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28. tomasoflatharta - August 2, 2020


Fine Gael’s approval rating has risen eight points to 29%, according to the latest opinion poll.

The Behaviour and Attitudes survey carried out on behalf of the Sunday Times found that, after suffering its second-worst election result since 1948, party leader Leo Varadkar’s approval has jumped 28 points to 63%.

Sinn Féin’s approval now stands at 30%, five points higher than its general election result, while Mary Lou McDonald’s satisfaction level is up 17 points to 57%.

The poll is a disappointing one for Fianna Fáil, who have dropped two points down to 20% approval, while the satisfaction rating for Taoiseach Micheál Martin is also down two points to 44%.

The Greens and Labour are both down one point to 6% and 3% approval respectively, while the Social Democrats, Solidarity PBP and Renua are all on 1%.” https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40025876.html

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6to5against - August 2, 2020

If you step back from the details and look at the big picture, it hasn’t really changed that much since the election. FFFG is holding steady – but not growing – at a little under 50%, and as strong as the leftie vote remains (compared to its historical levels in Ireland), its hard to find a way of counting it that gets it over 40%.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - August 2, 2020

One fascinating difference though: the left bloc (caveats apply) are fairly willing to transfer between them – Greens and SDs picked up SF surpluses I think – whereas FF and FG, while it’s becoming more obvious by the day that they are basically the same thing, still do not transfer to each other. So that 50% might be weaker than the 40%.
We’ll start seeing a campaign soon in polite circles for the two to organise a voting pact and work towards amalgamation to ward off the scourge of ‘anti-business’ ‘looney left’ forces. Which will suit FG, but cause (further) war in FF.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - August 2, 2020

The other thing is that once people defect from FFG, they seem to stay defected. The pool of votes that went Labour + in 2011 has wandered around the place since then but hasn’t returned to FFG

Liked by 1 person

6to5against - August 2, 2020

As you say, the difficulties in FF caused by the alliance with FG are a big problem (for them). And its not hard to imagine a situation after another election where a few backbenchers will defect and support a SF govt: the old FF – ‘republican party’ vote is real, and is a lot closer to SF than FG.

But I’m already dreading the media onslaught that a broadly left govt led by SF will have to endure. And how difficult that could be if its a cobbled together coalition depending on independents and small parties.

Does that make me an optimist or a pessimist?

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - August 2, 2020

I think the scale of such an onslaught may be unprecedented in the history of the state.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - August 2, 2020

I wonder….
I can’t imagine the IT was particlarly sanguine when Dev took power in ’32. And the voyage of FF since then might be harbinger of SF’s future…

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - August 2, 2020

That’s very possible too.

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29. Tomboktu - August 2, 2020

Not a line I expected to come across when I started reading the Notches post on organising an LGBT group in a teachers’ union in Britain in the 1970s:

One of the problems which we had not foreseen was the re-emergence of Leninism.

Liked by 1 person

30. GearóidGaillimh - August 2, 2020
WorldbyStorm - August 2, 2020

That’s a great question. I find the people like him of huge interest, those who managed to keep some sort of links going between the different strands. Obviously personal relations were one side of that but how did he view republicanism as a whole?

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31. Paul Culloty - August 3, 2020

Juan Carlos has fled Spain, like his antecedent Alfonso XIII, but on this occasion over financial skulduggery:

https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0803/1157135-spain-ex-king-exile/

Podemos have called for a republic, but don’t expect the Socialists to follow suit, as any tinkering with the Constitution could well see the Basque Country and Catalonia leaving, and the resultant more Castilian Spain leaning towards the PP and Vox.

Liked by 1 person

32. CL - August 4, 2020

Daniel Finn on Sinn Fein

“At a more theoretical level, there were several barriers to understanding. The lack of consensus among Irish Marxist intellectuals was one: by the late 1970s, you could find a whole range of positions, from “critical support” for the Provisionals to a kind of left-wing Unionism associated with figures like Paul Bew, Henry Patterson, and Austen Morgan (some of whom ended up as part of David Trimble’s “brains trust” during the peace process)…..
Eric Hobsbawm is an interesting example, here. He didn’t write systematically about Ireland or Irish nationalism, but the comments he did make suggested a real failure to grasp the British state’s role in Irish affairs. His comments on the so-called revisionist school in Irish historiography were also largely uncritical: he didn’t see that their skepticism toward traditional Irish nationalism, which could have been a healthy thing, was combined with a much more credulous stance towards British nationalism….
For better or worse, Sinn Féin is by far the largest party in Western Europe that still practices a kind of democratic centralism…..
It’ll be interesting to see how the party’s organizational culture develops over the next few years. They now have far more votes and elected representatives than ever before; reportedly they’ve also had a significant membership surge since this year’s election…..
For Sinn Féin, the primary goal is a united Ireland. Their left-wing agenda is subordinated to that…..
All in all, it’s not a bad position for Sinn Féin to be in, facing a conservative government as the unquestioned leader of the opposition … What happens then will depend on the pandemic and its economic consequences….
politics aside, they’re a fascinating movement to observe. With the possible exception of Bildu in Euskadi, there’s nothing else like them in Western Europe.”
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/07/ireland-sinn-fein-ira-one-mans-terrorist

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